tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC July 11, 2012 2:00am-3:00am EDT
finally, dozens of members of congress are doing just that. handing out embarrassing moments from their wikipedia pages, but wikipedia is pushing back. we begin with the -- media group, michael steele was chairman of the republican party. both are msnbc political analysts. gentlemen, want to show you something that vice president biden, he spoke to one of the largest latino political organizations today. what he had to say. take a look. >> when his father was a
candidate for president in 1986, his father released 12 years of tax returns because he said and i quote, one year could be a fluke. perhaps done for show, end of quote. that was his father. his son has released only one year of his tax returns. making alive the old adage, like father, like son. he wants you to show your paper, but he won't show us his. >> and of course yesterday, the president also hit romney. he told the local new hampshire station that romney should be more open and his finances. >> is it your belief that it's unpatriotic for someone to have
a swiss bank account? >> you know, i think what's important if you are running for president is that the american people know who you are, what you've done and that you're an open book and you know, that's been true of every presidential candidating back to mr. romney's father. >> and finally today at a town hall in colorado, mitt romney was asked about the attacks coming from the democrats. >> i'm not going to apologize for success at home and for america abroad. i went out and began a business and the business turned out to
be far more successful than i would have imagined. we were able to create jobs in our own little business and some of the jobs were able to create jobs as well. >> how does this all play? it occurs to me that americans do not resent wealth at the ballot box. what's the net net? >> the narrative and that is one that you see the obama team trying carve very carefully ability mitt romney and that is
that he's out of touch. the pushback by the romney people has got to be one where romney gets in there and clearly defines his wealth and the context of the american dream. aspirations. you can do better tomorrow than today. that's the central battle being drawn between these two campaigns. one, both around definitions of romney. interestingly enough, the obama team are trying to define obama as well, but with less success because the president's record while mixed on the economy and other thing, he's got more places to pivot to where as romney's central argument has
been i created the jobs, done the business -- and that's a tougher sell when you're trying to battle the idea that you're just for the rich guy. >> howard, are there some perils here because it could get depicted as class war fair? >> i think there are. if the president and his allies end up looking like they resent wealthy people and they're going after them just for the fact that they're rich. i think that could hurt the president with some independent voters in swing state, but i can assure you with talking with some people advising the president's campaign and democrats on the hill, they're perfectly will be to take that
risk because they think they've got mitt romney if not on the run, at least at a slow trot cht they don't think mitt romney's going to be able to get from today until november 6th without showing more r of his tax returns. they think there's got to be some things in those tax returns that candidate romney doesn't want revealed. and if they can keep the the press interested in the story and that's a big part of this, then they think the pressure will build.
>> well, democrats -- >> and i think that's a big challenge for them. >> let me show you both what joe tripy had to say. he said it's the cumulative effect of these attacks and told politico on a zero to ten scale, you get a bunch of twos and threes but when you combine a swiss bank account and a guy who wants to extend tax breaks on the wealthy, you get a seven. it's not this issue by itself, it's the combination. michael steele, i think that's the direct you were headed. >> absolutely. death by a thousand cuts. i could take you out with one blow, but then i create sympathy
with how i came after you. we saw that in the republican primary that there was a backlash to such heavy enemies, but this effort, death by a thousand cuts, you've got a brick here, a cut there, a slice there. it's the slow bleed and that creates the overall impression of where people instead of feeling sorry for you, then if you're not responding, there must be something true about it and that's why you're seeing the pushback by a lot of conservatives, especially the establishment types as well, for the romney to push back against this narrative about bain to
avoid the stem the flow of blood if you will. >> if you were still running the rnc, would you be calling somebody and saying bring forth the tax returns? is that one of the ways you think the bleeding gets stemmed? >> i think it's one of the ways where you say look, if there's nothing there, there's no there there, don't create a there. put out as much information as you can. at least three, four, five. you begin that drip back the other way. and it helps to off set some of the noise and the bleeding if you will, from the cuts that you're getting. >> howard fineman on the issue of the tax runs, congress debbie wasserman shulgts -- >> mitt romney has only released one year and an estimate of another year.
he needs to come clean and release multiple years so we can see why he invested in a bermuda corporation and transferred to it to his wife's name, accounts in the cayman island. most folks that i know, they make their investments in a bank in america. most american businessmen invest here and if you're running for president, certainly should be your commitment. >> and yesterday, haley barbour was asked about mitt romney's tax returns. >> tax returns, should he release the tax returns? >> i would, but should it be an issue in the campaign? >> finally, a different take from jason chaffits. he said that. >> i think he has released a tax returns.
with four months before election, we've got new poll numbers. let's check the the scoreboard. according to a new "washington post" abc news poll, the race is tied 47-47. an a new reuters poll has obama up six, 49-43. we'll have new poll numbers from some key battleground states later in the program. we'll be right back. attention, well, everyone. you can now try snapshot from progressive free for 30 days. just plug this into your car, and your good driving can save you up to 30%. you could even try it without switching your insurance. why not give it a shot?
that's more than four times the amount spent by outside liberal groups. the money is mainly coming from social welfare groups which do not have to disclose donors. one major player is crossroads gps. the group has spent $2.5 million on ads targeting brown. why has he become such a target? we'll ask hill. he joins us now. senator, why you? >> well, i think why me is because i've been a strong progressive voice. i assume it's oil companies spending money in ohio. i assume it's wall street banks. my legislation to end too big to fail to really end too big to fail. i assume it's the companies that
want to outsource american jobs and want to benefit from that because of my chinese currency bill. i don't know r for sure. >> let's underscore that. the point that you have to qualify this by saying i assume because there's no disclosure required. at least at this stage. >> yeah, this is what's, it's bad enough that billionaires and huge corporations that have already too much power in our government in congress, in the executive branch far too often, that they already have that power and then they can spend money without disclosure and that's the importance of this whole citizens movement. if you go to sherrodbrown.com and sign our petition, more than $150,000 people have signed up. this is going to take our
democracy back because this money, partly the supreme court decision, the loopholes already there when exxon and the big drug companies and wall street banks can have this kind of influence with the electorate, not just with congress. that's why the citizen's movement is so important. as i said earlier, sherrodbrown.com, sign our petition. it will help us fight back. the it's one we've got to win. >> here's what they're doing with the money. let's watch. >> it's time to play who's the biggest supporter of the obama agenda in ohio? it's sherrod brown. brought back to obama's agenda backed a whopping 95% o f the time. he voted for budget busting obamacare. for obama's tax increase and even supported cap and trade,
which could have cost ohio over 100,000 jobs. tell sherrod brown stop spending and cut the debt. >> senator, why are liberal groups being outflanked in this regard? >> well, i think groups that are more progressive don't have this resources. keep in mind that when the oil industry spending this kind of money, when their side wins, they get tax breaks, weaker environmental law, antilabor legislation. there's real incentive for the individual billionaires to get
their taxes cut, so they invest, really is an investment to them. they get billions in benefits. >> might labor off set this? i ask the question because "the wall street journal" reported today that organized labor groups send a lot more on politics than previous estimates would have you believe. about four times more. according to the journal -- which chronicle contributions made directly to federal candidates and union spending and supportive candidates for congress and white house but unions spend more on activities like supporting state and local candidates and deploing the union -- is that labor could be a stronger counterweight. to super pacs that raise millions from wealthy donors to support republican candidates and causes. truth to that. could labor be your savings grace? >> i'm a scriber to the "wall street journal." i picked it up in my driveway today. keep in mind, they said more money from labor than they thought.
it's not more from money from the billionaires combined. labor can only compete a dollar for every five or ten when you have the koch brothers and adelson and exxon and these big companies that outsource them. labor can't do anything like that. labor's very good at talking to your members and when you talk about labor once, it's elected labor union leaders who are setting the agenda just like people who vote for political figures, so labor can't compete at this level. you know, you're looking at a bunch of people paying union dues of maybe $100 or $150 a month. it's not that much. it's not even a comparison. "the wall street journal," a pretty conservative newspaper, of course puts that on the front page. it was well written. you know, you're looking at a bunch of people paying union dues of maybe $100 or $150 a month. it's not that much. it's not even a comparison. "the wall street journal," a pretty conservative newspaper, of course puts that on the front page. it was well written. there was some bias in the direction making that look like they could compete on an evening playing field. >> thank you. we're now joined by chrystia freeland. a lot of attention recently about the fund raising of the presidential campaigns and thousand obama campaign is bei outfundraised in the last couple
of months. i think the untold story until now is how this might affect. your thoughts? >> i think you're right. i think the story that we're seeing is that the right, the republicans have more money. i think senator brown put it very well. if you look at the economic map of america today, it's the billionaires, it's the people at
the top who are winning and have the resources and the 99% and their organized representatives like labor unions are not doing so well in the economy today. so the people are the resources have raelzed they have an ability for that money in politics. we focus on the presidential race because it's a single very important race, but i think what we're seeing is in a way, a million dollars, $5 million, to get more bang for your buck if you spend it in a single senator race and that's what they're doing cht. >> it's conceivable that supporter of the president could
wake up wednesday morning having achieved their goal of garnering his re-election and be shocked that the senate has changed hands. the quinnipiac poll from late june has brown ahead of his opponent by 16 points and this -- there isn't a candidate in the country who has earned more lousy headlines since josh -- despite repeated stumbles. the clout of a campaign investigation and so what gives? the era of outside spending where even a candidate can stay in the game -- the constituents, voters don't know where has this money even -- >> and what you're seeing is raising money, but being able to focus it in a laser like way on a local race. and if you want to look at it from an investing perspective at some of those billionaire republican donors like to do, in a way, you're political investment, you get more leverage for it if you focus on a local race. >> thanks. up next, ever wonder what mitt romney talks about when forced to make small talk? and remember, you can follow me on twitter if you can spell smerconish.
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back to "hardball." first off, time to mingle. ever wonder what mitt romney is saying to the other folks on stage before a speech? how about when he's casually chatting with others from the political scene jimmy fallon did some guessing. >> hi, welcome, good to see you. happy you're here. you can let go of my hand now. please. and this is my friend, chris. good to see you. what's with the handshakes? sorry about that, chris. you guys want to play mini golf after this? is there a putt putt? last time, i got three holes in one, the that how you say that, holes in ones? >> moments to watch in the general election debates get -- although in one predebate greeting from four years ago, we didn't have to do much guessing. >> nice to meet you. hey, can i call you joe?
>> the can i call you joe moment. it's tough to forget. next, when president obama sat down with a local las vegas reporter yesterday, the topic turned to baseball. that's potentially dangerous territory for obama. just weeks ago, he was booed by a crowd of red sox fans after he mocked the sox for trading kevin youkilis to his team, the chicago white sox. >> if i were to loan you this to display at the white house, would you come to the right side -- >> let me just say this will
never go up in the white house, but i am going to give you a chance to go ahead and promote your team right now. congratulations. we were talking about one of the biggest stars right now in washington is bryce harper, who comes out of nevada -- >> las vegas. >> i know that folks are really proud of him. he's doing great. my second favorite team now after the chicago white sox. >> playing it safe. he is an outfielder with the nationals. next, barney frank got married to his partner this past weekend. he met him at a political fund-raiser in 2005. turns out that nancy pelosi made her mark on the dance floor in the baltimore sun got ahold of some video. cue the music. ♪ "the new york times" reported she was dancing late into the evening. the occasion makes barney frank the first member of congress to be in a same-sex marriage. finally, can whether or not you're a smart phone user predict who you'll vote for? not quite. but there's a divide. of a android and iphone users, 49% say they planned to support
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by 11. welcome back to "hardball." outrage in a pennsylvania city tonight as scranton mayor slashed his salary and that of other employees to minimum wage. $7.25 an hour. though he's pledged to pay back what's due to them, last friday's paychecks went out to police, firefighters and other slashed rates while the mayor and city council batting on how to fund the deficit. he wants to raise property taxes while the council refuses. today, an attorney for three unions vowed to fight the mayor. he is with me live tonight along
with state senator john blake, who represents scranton and the surrounding area. i read that scranton had just $5,000 in its coffers last week. how did this happen? >> because of the budget shortfall. we have a $16 million shortfall. as anything es, as the mayor, i not only have to provide for salaries, but health care, the gas and diesel for our trucks and landfill. our employees do an outstanding job, we'll get through this. but right now, there is a shortfall. we have to keep working towards it and working together as a community and we'll get through this. >> and folks should know this is a battle among members of the
same party. these are democrats, right? the council is democratic and you're a democratic mayor? >> exactly. i had sent a budget down to raise taxes about $130 a household and that would have solved our problem, but the banks have said if you want to borrow, you need to have a plan. we have to work together to get threw it. >> and let me make clear, your intention so pay the money back, $7.25 an hour last friday and your desire is that they will be
comp ated. >> and the members have gone to court and we will honor the court's position. i love my city and we have made great strides over the last 11 years. we're doing extremely well in every other facet and we have to keep working hard to get through this. i know if we work hard with city council, we'll get through this. >> let me ask what the impact is on the mar rall of those city workers and what toll might this take? >> well, michael, this is obviously an affront to great people. nobody wants to be in this position. i don't envy the mayor or council with decisions they're making. the crisis is a short-term fiscal crisis and the ability to
nobody wants to be facing the fiscal con strant, but many of our cities are facing this. it takes a while to work your way out of this. we have 27 cities that have been designated fiscally distressed and there seems to be no exit from it because of the underlying structural problems. states should be a better partner to make sure we don't face this kind of process. >> mayor, did someone say you're committing political suicide
when you're paying the workers and yourself $7.25 an hour. how does this play for you going forward? >> i love my city and i've been elected three times as mayor, but i've always told the people the truth up front. we have to be able to pay for our bills and that's what we have to do here. we have to step up and this isn't the first time i've raised taxes in my career. i've done it before and been re-elected. you have to tell people, here's our costs, here's how we get through it because we need the confidence of the banking community. we know a place where tossing and turning have given way to sleeping. where sleepless nights yield to restful sleep. and lunesta can help you get there, like it has for so many people before. when taking lunesta, don't drive or operate machinery until you feel fully awake. walking, eating, driving, or engaging in other activities while asleep, without remembering it the next day, have been reported.
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we promised you new poll numbers. let's go back to the scoreboard starting in virginia where a new poll shows president obama with an eight-point lead over mitt romney. 50-42. there are few ways for romney to win if he doesn't -- next, north carolina in a closer race. showed obama with just a one-point lead. ppp is an automated poll that tends the lean democratic. we're back. remember when alan west said this? >> i believe it was about 70, 80, members of the communist party. >> it look like some in his office would rather you forgot. a new report in buzz feed shows that members of the house of represents and their offices have been scrubbing unflattering quotes from their wikipedia pages, although wikipedia has since added the line back in. andrew is the reporter from buzz feed who broke the story. he joins me now with msnbc contributor and author of my father at 100, ron reagan. andrew, how do we know that the members of congress are the ones
we're back. remember when alan west said this? >> i believe it was about 70, 80, members of the communist party. >> it look like some in his office would rather you forgot. a new report in buzz feed shows that members of the house of represents and their offices have been scrubbing unflattering quotes from their wikipedia pages, although wikipedia has since added the line back in. andrew is the reporter from buzz feed who broke the story. he joins me now with msnbc contributor and author of my father at 100, ron reagan. andrew, how do we know that the members of congress are the ones making the alterations? >> basically, all members of congress share the samism p. which for poem who don't know, is a number that shows where
your computer is located and all the members of the house of representatives share the same number. i searched this ip address and found that maybe there were 6,000 edits over the past few years and maybe 50 of them had been removing unflattering information. >> so, in the example we just offered, somebody in alan west's office would have been the one to remove the communist line because you know the ip address was this that building and who else would care? >> exactly. and some members of congress like miller, removed that she had been admonisheded by the house ethics committee. adding information, deleting information, we came to the conclusion that why would west's office be editing. >> mike kaufman came under fire in may. >> i don't know whether barack obama was born in the united states or not. i don't know that. but i do know this. that in his heart, he's not an american. he's just not an american. >> and let's watch what happened when a local reporter caught up with him. >> after your comments about the president, do you feel voters
are owed a better explanation? >> i stand by my statement that i misspokesman an i apologize. >> who were you apologizing to? >> i stand by my statement that i misspoke and i apologize. >> you're a very forthcoming guy. who's telling you not to talk? >> i stand by my statement -- >> is there anything i can ask you that you'll answer differently? >> if i go to his wikipedia page, what do i find? >> you would have found that incident had been deleted maybe a couple of days after it happened. some other editors might have gone and put it back in, but it's pretty apparent that a lot of these offices are very self-aware of of gaffes. >> i finally understand why my sons are not permitted to quote or cite wikipedia in their school papers. >> indeed, anybody looking to wikipedia for history -- now, we're shocked to hear that politicians are behaving this way, burnishing their images on the one hand and deleting embarrassing episodes on the other, but we can make a distinction between congressman, if i read the piece correctly, that some of these appear to be adding details, sometimes at great length and the good stuff, about how they scored touchdowns in high school. that in his heart, he's not an american. he's just not an american. >> and let's watch what happened when a local reporter caught up with him. >> after your comments about the president, do you feel voters are owed a better explanation? than just i misspoke? >> i think that -- as i stand by my statement that i misspoke and i apologize. >> who were you apologizing to? >> i stand by my statement that i misspoke and i apologize. >> you're a very forthcoming guy. who's telling you not to talk? >> i stand by my statement and i misspoke and i apologize.
>> is there anything i can ask you that you'll answer differently? >> i stand by my statement that i misspoke and i apologize. >> if i go to his wikipedia page, what do i find? >> you would have found that incident had been deleted maybe a couple of days after it happened. some other wikipedia editors may have gone and put it back in. it is apparent a lot of these offices are very self-aware of what their candidates' worst gaffes are and are trying to take them out. >> i finally understand why my sons are not permitted to quote or cite wikipedia in their school papers. >> indeed, anybody looking to wikipedia for history needs to know that's not the real history. i know we are all shocked. just shocked to hear politicians
are behaving this burnishing their images and deleting embarrassing episodes, but i think we could make a distinction here between congressman -- if i read the buzz feed piece correctly, that some of these congressmen appear to be adding biographical details. sometimes at great lends and no doubt all the good stuff how they scored touchdowns in high school and passed this and that legislation. the difference between that and deleing facts, the reality of your career, alan west and you know, some of these other people, the irony for alan west, he was accusing people of being communist. somebody needs to acquaint him with the term stalinesque. he was the one that would airbrush people out of photographs. this is part of the culture in washington. listen, messing around with your wikipedia page is nothing we came to the cubclusion, who would be editing this?
>> mikecoffman came under fire in may when he revived an old birther talking point. >> i don't know whether barack obama was born in the united states or not. i don't know, but i do know this. that it his heart, he's not an american. he's jus not an american. >> and let's watch what happened when a local reporter caught up with him. >> after you comments about the president, do you feel voters are owed a better explanation than i misspoke? >> i think that as i -- i stand by my statement that i misspoke nonbiased article on pepsi, coca-cola, fox news, nbc, you wouldn't want something to have been written by the pr people or that organization. now, maybe some of the people were adding what committees they were on or how they voted on a certain issue. i don't see an issue with that, but i feel like when they add large sects of biographical information, these should be monitored more closely. >> shouldn't it be is it true, and if it's true, it should be there? >> it's a good standard, but i also think that, yeah, it should be looked at a little more
closely. >> rob, let me show you one more. as part of politico's get to know your congressman series, they asked, what in the world does the congressional sportsmen's caucus do, and harper said we hunt liberal tree-hugging democrats, although it does seem like a waste of good ammunition. scrubbed from wikipedia, right? >> scrubs. >> another example of what we're talking about. >> another example of a congressman saying something that is really stupid and you don't want that out there in public because who says things like that? particularly if you're running for office. so of course, you scrub it out of your wikipedia page. but again, this is -- i would be interested if andrew knew if in terms of party, things broke down one way or another in terms of adding biographical detail
versus removing facts from your resume. >> what's the short answer to that? what difference if any disyou discern between rs and ds involved in this? >> we found, we didn't publish the senate list, we only did the house of representatives list first. it was really odd. the house list, we found that it was mostly republicans who were doing it. there were maybe ten or so democrats, but with senate, i was finding it was actually democrats, not republicans, who were editing. senate democrats were editing, house, the republicans were editing. >> i take it there's. more to come in this regard? >> definitely. >> thank you for an interesting segment. i can't wait to talk to my kids' teachers and say now i understand. >> when we return, allow me to finish with a new assault on the right to privacy. if you have a cell phone, you need to hear this. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. ionship stats
let me finish tonight with this. yesterday, the "new york times" reported that the u.s. of cell phone tracking data by law enforcement is skyrocketing. the situation raises interesting privacy questions. in response to a request from congressman edward marquise. they responded to 1.3 million demands for subscriber information. they were seeking text messages, caller locations, and other
information in the course of investigations. the requests came from law enforcement on a local, state, and federal level. the law, it's still struggling to catch up with this area of cell phone surveillance. the issue is how to balance law enforcement needs with privacy concerns. as the times pointed out, under federal law, the carriers said they generally required a search warrant, a court order, or formal subpoena to release information about a subscriber, but in cases that law enforcement officials deem an marriage, a less formal request is often enough. morover, rapid technological changes in cell phones have blurred the lines on what is legally required to get data, particularly the use of gps systems to yiefr the location of phones. in a world where virtually everyone walks around with a cell phone, the ability to track users has become an invaluable tool for police. the question is whether privacy rights of mobile customers are being kafguarded. the carriers record that
sometimes what was described as an emergency wasn't the case, and what about the gps technology? six months ago in a unanimous decision, the supreme court ruled police violated the constitution when they attached a gps tracker to a suspected drug trafficker's car without a search warrant. that would seem to underscore the need for a warrant before a cell phone is tracked. we want law enforcement to continue to solve kidnappings, respond to shootings and cases of missing people, but congress needs to insure there are legal protections in place for customers' privacy and that the mobile industry is in compliance before surrendering such information. one final thought, it comes from steve from the midwest who posted this comment to the times coverage of the cell phone privacy matter. he wrote, the only private communications that exists in the u.s. postal service. nobody will read your letters and you can say anything you
like without some computer program picking out keywards to flag in a database of suspicious wording. when congress kills the usps, our last personal and prive lt means of comubication is gone. to which i would add, everything old is new again. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "the ed show" with ed schultz starts right now. >> good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show" from new york. 119 days before the election, and mitt romney still refuses to quit hiding his wealth. come on, mittster, give us the tax returns. this is "the ed show." let's get to work. >> he wants you to show your papers, but he won't show us his. >> democrats attack mitt romney's secrecy on his tax returns. as republicans get deceptive. >> i think he has released the tax returns. >> maryland governor martin o'malley isn't pulling any punches on his offshore money and he's here tonight. >> voter id which is going to allow governor romney to win the
state of pennsylvania, done. >> the pennsylvania voter suppression story just got uglier. >> this year, the law required every pennsylvania voter show a photo id at the polls. >> why was a mitt romney fund-raiser paid $250,000 to run the stase's voter id campaign? the out of control republican party is voting to repeal obamacare for the 31st time. >> the american people do not want to go down the path of obamacare. that's why we voted over 30 times. >> steve israel is hitting republicas hard for playing games and he's here tonight. >> our fore fathers rejected tyranny and so should we. support hr-6079, a bill that would repeal obamacare. let's get rid of the boss once and for all. >> good to haveio awith is. thanks for watching. the cloud of secrecy surrounded mitt romney's finances is refusing t